§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the annual budget for Training and Enterprise Councils provided from public funds in the last year for which figures are available; and what quality audit mechanisms are employed to monitor their efficiency and value for money. 
§ Dr. Howells
The budget provided by this Department for Training and Enterprise Councils in England in 1996–97 is provisionally estimated to be £1.2 billion.
A range of mechanisms are in place to monitor efficiency and promote value for money. Government Offices negotiate and monitor key performance targets. They also assess the effectiveness of each TEC's financial control environment to ensure public money is properly protected. In addition, the TEC Quality Assurance: Supplier Management (TQA: ASM) framework sets out the quality requirements which the Department places on TECs and which it requires TECs to make of their suppliers. The Department is also considering proposals to establish an inspectorate that would assess the quality of Government funded training provision.
§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what powers he has in relation to appointments to the boards of TECs. 
§ Dr. Howells
The Government's contract with Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) sets eligibility conditions that TEC directors must meet. However, TECs are private companies and the appointment of directors to TEC boards is determined by the members of the company acting in accordance with the company's Articles of Association. It is for each TEC to decide on its own membership in accordance with its contract with government and the TEC National Council's "Framework for local Accountability of TECs" which has as its first principle clarity and openness in the selection of well qualified and trained board members.